Proposal to integrate maritime transport in the EU ETS

In July 2021, the European Commission proposed, as part of the Fit-for-55 package, to amend the Emissions Trading Directive by including maritime transport in the EU ETS. The Fit-for-55 package also includes other proposals that address the maritime sector, such as the FuelEU Maritime Initiative. The Oeko-Institut has prepared an overview of the proposal in a briefing for AirClim and the Life ETX Consortium. It also outlines the importance of addressing maritime transport emissions, evaluates the proposal and sets it in context with developments at a global level. It also formulates three key recommendations.
First of all, expanding the EU ETS to include maritime transport is an important step towards introducing carbon pricing in this sector and signalling the relevance of its emissions to the EU’s overall emissions and to the economy.

Second, the current proposal could be improved by:

  • including all relevant GHGs (CO₂, CH₄ and N₂O), and possibly also black carbon; considering a stepwise inclusion of ships over 400 GT in a timely manner;
  • considering whether an expansion of the geographical scope is politically feasible given the experience with the aviation ETS;
  • abolishing the transitional phase for surrendering allowances;
  • adding emphasis or detail on how EU ETS revenues will be used to decarbonise the maritime sector (e.g., CCfD through a dedicated fund).

Finally, the inclusion of international maritime transport in the EU Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) with the geographical scope of the maritime EU ETS could underscore the EU’s ambition to reduce emissions and strengthen links between efforts under the IMO and UNFCCC. The EU’s forerunner role could serve as an incentive and proof-of-concept for an international policy.

Nora Wissner, Martin Cames

Link to the briefing on the proposal to integrate maritime transport in the EU ETS:


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